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Social Responsibility: What’s In It For Me?

February 24, 2010

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If you were to type in “corporate socially responsibility” into Google today, you would have over 10 million results come back to you. “CSR” and “corporate sustainability” have been buzz words in business of late. It’s a bandwagon that many businesses want to (or appear to) be jumping on. You may be thinking “Yeah, social responsibility is good and all but what’s in it for me?”

This may sound somewhat of a cynical thought, especially coming from a social-minded organization like ourselves. However, it’s definitely an issue worth addressing. Social responsibility will definitely help others but how will it ultimately help yourself?

Despite the recession, employee retention is at an all time low across the board for businesses. Many predictions have been made that as soon as the economy begins to recover and the recession is over, several employees will jump ship. Utilizing CSR in your business will help retain your current workforce and even draw in new talent. Knowing a corporation uses their resources to make the world a better place is an attractive asset for employees. This inspires employees to work harder since the fruits of their labors will go to benefit a greater good than just purely the bottom line.

Rewarding employees with socially responsible gifts will also improve retention and engagement. This was briefly discussed in a previous blog post. The idea of non-cash merchandise incentives is supposed to motivate employees to do better work. When these incentives also go to help someone make a better life for themselves, the reward becomes a win win situation. The social enterprise producing the product helps someone in need, the employee receives an incentive knowing that their hard work recognition helped someone, and the corporation’s reputation benefits as a result of doing good.

This “do-gooder” reputation is vital for company growth. A socially responsible company appeals to more potential investors as well as talent. CSR practices show good leadership and give your company brand a positive reputation, creating more trust for those wanting to invest in your company.

In regards to social responsibility, what’s in it for you? Plenty. However giving should be an unselfish act, a time when you expect nothing in return.

Thoughts?

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